Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison — 20 years for first-degree criminal sexual act, plus five years of supervised release, and another three years in prison for his third-degree rape conviction — on Wednesday morning, following a jury’s Feb. 24 verdict. According to courtroom artist Jane Rosenberg, who has been documenting the disgraced film producer’s Manhattan trial since it started in early January, the 67-year-old former media mogul appeared “disheveled-looking,” though he spoke with confidence as he read out a statement to the judge.
“He came in in a wheelchair looking pretty bad,” Rosenberg told Yahoo Lifestyle in a phone interview shortly after the sentencing. “He was unshaven, his hair had grown out and was disheveled-looking. He had no tie [and] his shirt was unbuttoned, although he buttoned the top button later on.”
Weinstein has battled health issues in the days since his trial ended, undergoing a heart procedure and spending several days in Bellevue Hospital before being transferred to Rikers Island, where his rep says he fell and hit his head. Despite his frail appearance, however, Rosenberg found him to be more composed as he read out his statement, in which he expressed “deep remorse” for his accusers but criticized the #MeToo movement.
“When he spoke, he did have a loud, clear voice and he didn’t come off as a beaten man as he spoke,” she shared.
She also described the emotional atmosphere as victims read their own statements and, later, reacted to Weinstein’s sentencing, which his attorney Donna Rotunno has called “obscene” and “obnoxious.”
“There were a lot of tears from the victims as they gave their impact statements, and then in the end they all broke down and were hugging and crying at that moment,” Rosenberg said.
But she didn’t notice any dramatic reaction from Weinstein himself.
“He got wheeled out of the courtroom looking the same — he looked bad. He’s in a wheelchair, pulled away and pushed out quickly,” she said, noting that her attention was drawn to those crying in the courtroom. “I didn’t see him do anything.”
Though Rosenberg is no stranger to high-profile court cases — sketching scenes from trials involving Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and others — she admitted that the sensitive subject matter made the work grueling.
“I’m so relieved, personally, that it’s over,” she shared. “It’s been hanging over me as well, coming here ... It’s hard to watch the whole thing.”
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